Faithful Luminati, your favourite beacons of blindness have not forgotten about you!
Despite a mysterious and lengthy absence, we’re working on a comeback. Obviously we can’t apologize enough for just kind of disappearing, but that doesn’t mean I can’t explain what happened and where we’ve been. Spoiler alert: We didn’t travel far… or at all actually.
We got back into the podcast in late summer of 2020. The pandemic had stressed us out before then, leaving us unsure of how to approach it until starting to record again. Once we got up and running, our podisodes about the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) started getting some traction, along with our blog posts on the topic. It felt really good to start connecting over something and we both got fired up about some changes that need to be made for social assistance in Ontario.
And then that momentum stopped.
A couple of things contributed to this. I’m not a natural leader by any means and the response we received from people with their stories of living on ODSP quickly became overwhelming. I was serious about launching The ODSP Chronicles, but the sheer response left me paralyzed. The longer I felt unable to do the work, the more I felt like a fraud for giving people false hope. It’s something I feel really ashamed about and remain truly sorry for. I honestly didn’t anticipate the response and when it came through, it was just too much for me to handle.
This podcast was also launched to be something creative and fun for ourselves. Truth be told, it was becoming more serious than I was comfortable with and that became a really tricky balancing act. Connecting with others prevented me from realizing it at the time, but the more we started talking about the government and things of that nature, the harder it became to use it as a creative outlet to have fun with. Maybe that’s selfish of me, especially considering the importance of advocacy for those on ODSP, but I’d gotten myself into something I felt I couldn’t get out of.
I asked Jan to help me with interviews and we got some articles started, but my desire to continue with everything was snuffed out pretty quickly. She also started a new job while this was going on, so that took our attention away even more. Between figuring out how to balance our show, putting in the work these stories deserved, continuing my freelance job, dealing with the stresses from life changes and the ongoing pandemic, it was too much: I lost the desire to record our podisodes, gave up on the ODSP Chronicles and walked away completely.
So that was kind of rock bottom. Since then, I’ve been struggling to stay motivated with other projects. Despite not being diagnosed, I’m pretty sure that seasonal affectedness disorder has an impact on my mental health in the winter. As a result, I’ve pushed myself to start working on a personal website that will soon host my own blog, lyrics and content archived from websites I’ve created over the years.
Restoring old pages has been especially good for me. Getting into the nitty gritty and writing code again has given me a greater sense of accomplishment than simply putting together a WordPress site (although they’re both challenging in different ways and I can do a lot more with WP.)
Long story short, it’s brought me to a place where I’m ready to consider this website again. At some point this week, I’ll be adding a section that lists the titles with audio description on Disney+ Star in Canada. (It’s their international answer to Hulu and is housed directly in the Disney+ app.)
I’m also hoping to start up the podcast again but don’t know when that will happen. When it does however, it will be going back to our original intent of having some fun with our lives as a half-blind married couple. With the pandemic, I’m not in the right headspace to tackle ODSP. I still feel like a failure for not following through but hope everyone understands the need to put my mental health first. Could I revisit this project down the road? It’s a possibility, but right now isn’t the time to do it.
So stay tuned everyone! We’ll have an update in the coming days and I promise… The Blindnamic Duo will return!